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Kyle Hackland A gang of teenage killers who murdered a 17-year-old boy in a botched revenge attack before telling court he was their ‘friend’ had been pictured for the first time after the victim’s mother branded them ‘evil’ in a powerful courtroom statement.

Emma’s Gormley’s eldest son Kyle Hackland was stabbed four times by a group of teenagers who targeted him because he was friends with a sixth teenager, who had allegedly robbed one of the gang during a drug deal the day before.

Yousef Sesay and Lewis Ludford, both 18, and Tafari Smith, 17, were found guilty of murder and handed life sentences, with Sesay ordered to serve a minimum 22 years, Ludford, 21 years and Smith 19 years.

Alife Benson, also 17, waited in a stolen VW Golf while the killing was carried out. He was cleared of murder, but was found guilty of manslaughter was locked up for 12 years.

The two-17-year-olds could be named for the first time on Tuesday after a sentencing judge lifted a reporting restriction protecting their identities.

Addressing the killers in court, Ms Gormley told them they had ‘no right to call him their friend’ as she told how she ‘begged’ an unconscious Kyle to stay.

During the fatal assault one of Kyle’s killers shouted: ‘chef him’ as another plunged a large hunting knife with a jagged blade into his lower back.

As the gang fled the scene, the victim was heard telling a bystander: ‘I’ve been stabbed’ before collapsing. Despite attempts to revive him at the roadside, Kyle died four hours later in the hospital in the arms of his mother.

All four were sentenced at Manchester Crown Court on Tuesday.

Police investigations revealed the teenager, from Bredbury, Greater Manchester knew his assailants, had been to school with one of them and was in regular contact with the killers over social media.

Later when they stood trial, all were seen laughing and joking with each other between court sessions – whilst one was able to make a rap video which was posted to Instagram in which he gloated about ‘leaving a man to die on the ground.’

At Manchester Crown Court, mother-of-three Mrs Gormley, who is in her 30s, broke down in tears as she came face-to-face with the killers and branded them ‘evil’.

Kyle Hackland Age 

Kyle Hackland Age  is 17 years old.

Butchered 17-year-old in botched gangland

Disturbing’ CCTV footage played to the court captured the killers egging each other on and carrying out the fatal stabbing before Kyle collapsed in the driveway of a nearby house whilst clutching his wounds.

He was due to turn 18 in just 12 days and was about to begin a course in scaffolding.

In an emotional victim impact statement Ms Gormley told the killers: ‘Our lives have been shattered and they will never be the same because of what you did.

‘When the surgeons said there was nothing more they could do for Kyle I had to say my final goodbyes to my 17-year-old first born son.
‘As he lay in a hospital bed covered in blankets to hide his wounds, I stroked his hair, kissed him and told that I loved him and held onto him for as long as I could.

‘These were my last moments with my own son and I was crying and begging for him to stay. I was holding him in my arms until his heart stopped beating.

‘Kyle’s younger brother who just 14 at the time felt his hand but I was unable to comfort him as we knew his life had ended.

‘I had to leave my boy lying dead in hospital. Nothing has ever come close to the emotional and physical pain I felt that day.’

She added: ‘Kyle was brutally set upon and left to die on a cold concrete floor in broad daylight in such cruel circumstances. Just 12 days after he died it was his 18th birthday, a day we planned to celebrate and a table was booked for his birthday meal. We had balloons and presents for him not knowing he was never going to be with us that day – but instead be lying in a cold hospital mortuary.

‘I now shout and scream in my sleep and have hot sweats and panic attacks thinking about Kyle and what he went through, how he must have felt as he was slowly dying in front of strangers and wanting his mum.

‘It was my job to protect him but how could I protect him from these evil people?

‘It hurts so much to see no remorse from the killers and to see them laughing in court makes me sick to the stomach. To say they were Kyle’s friends and then laugh and joke in court shows a complete lack of respect.’

She added that ‘they did not care about taking Kyle’s life’ and had ‘no right’ to call him their friend.

The tragedy occurred at 11.30am on November 22 last year the gang who peddled cannabis on the street swore revenge after Sesay was robbed of £1000 cash in a bungled drug deal – and they blamed one of Kyle’s friends James Todd, 18.

Initially the gang who were wearing balaclavas and carrying knives smashed up a Mercedes in the mistaken belief it belonged to Todd but tragedy struck shortly afterwards when they subsequently spotted him and Kyle walking through the Withington area.

Sesay, Ludford, and one of the 17-year-olds jumped out of a stolen VW Golf they were cruising around in to confront Todd who was also armed with a large knife – but he fled the scene leaving Kyle behind.
Mark Rhind KC, prosecuting, said: ‘It is clear that all four intended to exact revenge. They were armed with knives and had balaclavas or face coverings and they were searching south Manchester intending to attack Todd, or, tragically for Kyle Hackland, anyone associated with him.’

He added that one of the defendants could be heard saying: ‘Chef him, chef him’ before another ‘raised his left hand above his head to deliver a forceful blow into his back with the knife before pulling it out.’

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Mr Rhind continued: ‘Kyle was then dragged into a driveway and was pushed against some wheelie bins before being surrounded and stabbed again. The occupants of the house looked out of the window to see the attackers ‘windmilling’ him as Kyle was trapped against the wheelie bins.

‘He was seen curling up and trying to protect himself as he was being punched and kicked with one of the attackers holding a large hunting knife which had a jagged blade.’

As the defendants drove off, Mr Rhind said Kyle lifted up his top and was seen feeling towards his lower back while struggling to remain on his feet.

When a concerned passer-by asked if he was alright, Kyle replied: ‘I’ve been stabbed’ before he collapsed. He never regained consciousness.

Tests revealed Kyle was knifed to his upper arm and the front and left hand side of his chest.

The fatal stab wound to his back penetrated his kidney, liver and left lung. The killers later enlisted the help of family and friends to dispose of the murder weapon, blood spattered clothing and mobile phones. The VW Golf was later found abandoned.

The killers gave themselves up to the police after Todd messaged their names to Kyle’s brother and officers raided their homes. All gave no comment in interview but when Ludford asked why he had surrendered he replied: ‘youse licked my gaff up’.

The court heard the 17-year old driver of the Golf had 23 previous convictions on his record including robbery and assault and had been given a referral order by a youth court for motoring offences, just 24 hours before the murder.

The other 17-year old had convictions for possession of cannabis and a bladed article whilst Sesay, from Audenshaw had convictions for being carried in a stolen car. Ludford of Gorton had an unrelated offense on his record.

All four teenagers denied wrongdoing but were convicted by a jury.

In sentencing the four youths and lifting reporting restrictions on naming Benson and Smith, Judge Alan Conrad KC said: ”Yet again this court has to deal with a case involving a young victim whose promising life has been and young offenders facing very long periods in custody – all because as is sadly so common, the four of you chose to go out with knives and to use them.

”Kyle was much loved and brought joy to his family and his life was cruelly and unnecessary cut short by you four. He had done nothing at all to deserve what happened to him.

” Hypocritically some of you claimed he was your friend. Friends do not behave as you did, attacking Kyle, stabbing him in the back and leaving him bleeding and dying on the pavement. Kyle stood no chance against your savage attack on him. ”

Outside court, Richard Holliday for the North West CPS said: ‘Kyle Hackland was the victim of a violent and senseless attack at the hands of other young men who were prepared to dish out revenge on anyone associated with the person they had a grudge against.

‘This case is yet another tragic reminder of the cost of street violence and the use of weapons.’


Todd of Heaton Moor, Manchester was sentenced to 13 months in a young offender’s institute earlier this year for possessing a bladed article during the incident.